The Science (and math) behind low-carb diets – and why they don’t fail

We have heard of the three very famous (and of course, only-after water) MACROS that “nutrition” relies on- Fats, proteins and carbohydrates (famously carbs).

What are they?

And why would you need a specific amount of a certain macro in some x quantity, and the other in y quantity, and another macro in z quantity, where x>y>z (possibly), but you might as well be eating x=y=z OR x<y<z or any other possible permutation.

We, the dietitians, are here to figure out which of these tri-variable equations (where x, y, and z represent macros) work best for you, and trust me-nutrition is a game of math.

But we can’t find the unknowns here by three equations, the way we do in math. Instead, in this case, we need to take into consideration rather the chemical reactions (or equations) in a human body to figure out ONE SIMPLE QUESTION- will your body function optimal on fats?

We have famously heard of only glucose (or carbs) of an energy source, hence-we have multiple glucose-based energy supplements trending in the markets. Now of course, with the ongoing trend of ketosis, we do have MCT oils trending in the market too. (MCT is Medium Chain Triglycerides, these tend to go through the gut quite quickly as is an optimal “quick” energy source for people on fat-based diets)

Consider an example :

example

 

I am stuck at a border posting and want to kill 5 enemies. I have two guns – A&B. A is heavier than B, A, and B-though have the same volume. A has 2 gunshots and B has 10. Which one, would you ideally prefer to destroy your enemy?

Any sane person would say gun B.

In our case, A is carbohydrate, B is fat. The same grams of fat provide a lot more ATP than for the same grams of carbs do. 1 molecule of glucose = 38ATP, one molecule of fat-129ATP.

 

When you tend to be on a fat-protein diet, you obviously tend to have lower insulin spikes, hence the blood sugar doesn’t keep swinging in your body making you hungry time and again.

 

Hunger is a game of your brain, not your stomach. Once you know how to train your brain in a way that it won’t overeat, or give it food that doesn’t let the brain send a signal to eat more and more again- you are a winner in the game of fat loss. And this can be achieved by training yourself to function on fats. More energy, less hunger, less cravings, better skin and zero to no deficiency oy any micronutrient for that matter.

 

If x,y, and z are the three variable macros in my diet, variable y can be carb, and is okay to make it 5-20gms per day.

So, the key take away is: You can definitely try a low carb diet it you are economically okay with it. If you are okay with limited ingredients to rely on, and if you are diabetic or have PCOD.

There are other factors such as genetics, that also explain if your body will function better on fats or carbs. Early man relied on dead animals to feed themselves-which is nothing but protein and fat. Think, if you really need too many carbs?

How to lose Chest Fat with these 5 Simple Exercises.

Who doesn’t want perfect pecs? But it often seems like a pretty difficult task to lose chest fat. But it is for sure possible. All it needs is hard work, a little patience and the right choices on diet and exercises. It is just as losing fat at other parts of our body. In this article let us see all about chest fat and various exercises needed to reduce it.

How do we lose Chest Fat?

The very first thing to know about losing chest fat is that you cannot just lose your chest fat. The concept of losing fat from just one part of your body is called spot reduction. Various researchers have proved this theory to be false. They found out that spot reduction is a complete myth, and there is no way that one can lose fat from just the belly or chest.

A study conducted on 40 overweight and obese women for 12 weeks found that resistance training of the abdominal area had no effect on belly fat loss.

This just shows that our body doesn’t work that way. It loses the overall body fat rather than of just one body part. Thus, if you follow the diets and exercises of spot reduction, chances are it is going to fail.

So, what else to do now? Aim on losing overall fat, but concentrate more on the chest area. Choose your diet and exercise accordingly. You don’t need to go to a fancy gym or hire a trainer for your workouts. You can actually practice a few exercises at your home to gain your dream body.

So, here are some of the exercises that can help with losing your chest fat:

Push-Ups

Taking push-ups can never go wrong. It’s the classic exercise that you can adopt in your daily routine to build up those pecs. If you find taking push-ups at the beginning difficult, then start with knee push-ups, which are considerably easier. Slowly you can transcend towards the regular ones and can master it.

Push-up is the best exercise which targets your chest and upper body. It strengthens your upper muscles and increases your chest and arm strength. This exercise works the pectoral muscles in your chest and the triceps. These are the muscles in the back of your upper arms.

Here is how you do a push-up:

  1. Get down on your feet and palms, placing your hands slightly wider than your shoulders.
  2. Straighten your arms and legs.
  3. Lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor.
  4. Pause, then push yourself back up.
  5. Repeat.

Bench Press

The bench press is a compound exercise that involves the pectoralis major of the chest and the deltoid muscles of the shoulder. As a bonus, it also strengthens the triceps of our upper arm. It builds strength as well as encourages the growth of these muscles. 

If you’ve never done a press-up before then you need to focus on doing one quality rep at a time, and gradually building up your strength until you can do ten good reps without stopping.

These are the steps to do a bench press:

  1. Lie flat on your back on a bench.
  2. Grip the bar with hands just wider than shoulder-width apart, so when you’re at the bottom of your move your hands are directly above your elbows. This allows for maximum force generation.
  3. Bring the bar slowly down to your chest as you breathe in.
  4. Push up as you breathe out, gripping the bar hard and watching a spot on the ceiling rather than the bar, so you can ensure it travels the same path every time.

Dumbbell Pullover

The dumbbell pullover is often the favorite of workout enthusiasts worldwide. It’s a classic move for building a bigger, stronger chest. As such, it’s often placed first in mass-building chest workouts

The dumbbell pullover can help increase chest, back, and serratus size and strength, at the same time. By performing this exercise for moderate to higher repetitions, you can increase the stretch placed upon the upper body muscles and provide great stimulus for growth.

These are the steps to do a dumbbell pullover:

  1. Hold a low or medium weight dumbbell above your chest and have your elbows slightly bent.
  2. Slowly lower the dumbbell back over your head all the way down like in the animation above.
  3. Make sure you do this slowly and you feel the stretch.
  4. Go for about 3 sets initially with 10-12 repetitions in one set. Perform this exercise 3 times a week.

Cable Crossover

The cable crossover is an isolation move that will directly target the chest muscles. Bodybuilders often suggest this exercise because it does wonders for the definition of your chest muscles. Typical incline pressing movements place a great deal of stress on your chest area, which makes the muscle fibres around the collarbone hard to workout

These are the steps to do a cable crossover:

  1. Set the handles at both ends of the pulleys at the highest level. 
  2. Stand in the centre of the machine with feet shoulder-width apart. 
  3. Bend your torso forwards slightly, keeping your spine neutral and back straight, and bend your elbows slightly as well, with your wrists facing the floor. 
  4. Keeping your core engaged, pull both handles down and across your body. 
  5. Squeeze your chest muscles in this fully contracted position (the handles don’t have to be touching). 
  6. Slowly reverse to the start position, keeping the bend in your elbows throughout.

Cardio

Runner, Race, Competition, Female

Doing just strength training isn’t sufficient for getting those awesome specs. You need focus on your cardio as well. Cardio helps in burning fat throughout your body, thus not leaving your chest behind. When cardio sheds kilos, it doesn’t care for the part it is shedding. Thus, doing regular cardio keeps you in great shape. You can choose various options for cardio such as:

  • aquatic exercises.
  • zumba
  • running outside at a moderate pace
  • jumping rope
  • biking and trekking

For best results, aim for 20 to 40 minutes of cardio, four times a week.

Which of these exercises is more effective?

An ACE-sponsored study led by Whitnee Schanke, M.S., John P. Porcari, Ph.D., and several researchers from the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse compared 9 of the most common chest exercises.

They wanted to find out how effective each movement was for activating the Pectoralis Major (Largest muscle of the chest). 

These exercises included:

  • Barbell Bench Press
  • Pec Dec Machine
  • Bent-Forward Cable Crossover
  • Chest Press Machine
  • Incline Dumbbell Fly
  • Dips
  • Suspended Push-up
  • Stability Ball Push-up
  • Standard Push-up

These were the best exercises that were found out on the study:

  • The barbell bench press was first and there was no surprise there.
  • The Pec Dec was second, which involves high machinery and you can try it out only at the gym.
  • The cable crossover was the third best exercise.

All of the above exercises do their work very well for our body parts. But when it comes to chest the above three does wonders. But not all the exercises can be done easily. Thus, beginning easy and slowly building up your strength is the secret to losing chest fat.

Conclusion

Losing chest fat is no party treat. Often people begin with the exercise and diet for it, but lose hop halfway. But one must remember that there is no shortcut when it comes to chest fat. It forces us to go through the long way. But the end results are worth it. So, quit procrastinating, and get your workout mode on. 

Work From Home Efficiently: Tips and Tricks

The global pandemic we are facing has bought up many challenges in front us. From washing our hands every now and then, to not being able to meet our friends and family, we are compromising a lot. But there is something that this phase has ensured that we must all do- Work from Home. Some may feel it as a challenge, while others may be loving it. But if not executed properly, this step may have a negative  impact on your work life.

If you actually think about it, working from home can be very efficient. You don’t have to spend time to get ready, you can save your travel time and you can even be at your comfortable home to work even more efficiently. But with every pro, there is a con too. Your kid may start throwing a tantrum, you may not feel productive or there may not be a good connection in your computer. So, it is very necessary to actually plan out your work, just like you do at your regular office.

 So, here are some tips and tricks that you can follow to be effective during these days.

Plan your day, Make a time table:

One of the things about working from home is that you are your own boss. You decide your time. You may do it efficiently or just be unproductive throughout the day. Often we take it for granted and mess up our daily routine. Especially in times like this, when we are even mentally stressed about the situation happening outside. It’s normal to have an improper sleep schedule and work life. But it is more necessary to deal with all the problems now.

 

One simple way is to make a proper time table for your daily routine. Wake up early, include exercises in your day and plan out your day efficiently. Give time for everything, including family, leisure, fun and work. By doing so, you’ll ensure that your mind keeps working all the time and you’ll feel more productive. Not only that you’ll concentrate more on your work as you’ll feel efficient and satisfied.

 

Plan out the next day at night and mentally prepare yourself to complete all the tasks that you have planned to do. This way you’ll reduce your stress and panic about thinking about your work at night. Thus providing you a better sleep at night.

 

Try Creating an At-Home Office

While it might seem like a pretty awesome idea to work by lying down in your couch or bed, this might have a huge negative impact on your productivity. You may easily start feeling sleepy and tired. And did I mention lazy? Cause your bed and your couch are areas, where you chill and rest. It’s natural that if you work from these areas, you won’t get a work vibe.

 

The best option to deal with it is to make a workspace in your house, which is only meant for your office work. Organise it properly, put your desktop/laptop there, arrange the necessary stuff and voila…start working. You don’t have to go all fancy and design the traditional work space. You can if you want to. But it can be as simple as a study table. You can choose any corner in your house and make it your work area. Believe me, when you sit in your work chair, you may actually start to feel as if you are at the office and productivity will kick in for sure.

 Reduce Social Media:

It is not a new fact that social media is usually the actual villain in wasting our time. We often plan to just go through it once, but actually end up watching dog videos for hours. You cannot be blamed for that. This is how social media is designed. Remember, the more you are in it, they are making money. On the other hand, you are losing your valuable time which could have been used for something productive.

 

Take a first step towards social media detoxing, uninstall all the social media apps from your phone and log out from your browsers. If you don’t require your phone for your work, then try avoiding it completely. You may feel distracted and tempted to check those apps, but promise yourself that you’ll only check your phone after your work is done. Decide the time you need to spend on social media beforehand. Have a check on it as well. You may not even realise the amount of time you’re wasting on it.

 

Separate Personal and Professional Life

When working from home, every one of your family members is under one roof. Because of this, often your personal and professional life gets meddled up. Your kid may come and distract you, you may have chores to be done, or be it any personal calls. You need to separate your personal life with your work life, even though it’s a home office. 

 

Inform your family members about your working hours and tell them to not disturb during those hours. Take your work as professionally as you would, when you were in office. Avoid personal calls during office hours. Distribute your time between both worlds, and you’d be good to go.

 

Stay Connected:

One of the main problems with work from home is that you don’t get to meet with your co-workers. While it may cut your time from office gossip, this can also have a negative impact. Your co-workers are the ones who make your office feel like an office. People with the same goal in their lives working towards it. It gives us a sense of togetherness. So, it is very necessary to be in touch with your boss and other co-workers.

Use technology efficiently to get the latest updates about your company. Do online group meetings and skype calls. You may often lose sync with others during such times. Ensure you are on the same page as others. Stay well connected and well aware about your company’s work.

 

Conclusion

 

Difficult times need difficult measures. This pandemic had led many of us to make different life choices, one of them being to be stuck at home. But work never stops. We need to be productive anyways. So, let us do it in the best way possible. Let us make the best of this situation.

Garcinia Cambogia: 5 awesome Benefits of this hidden fruit.

Garcinia Cambogia is a tropical fruit found mainly in South-east Asia and India. It is typically used in South India and Sri Lanka in cooking, especially used in making fish curry. It gives a sour flavor in the curry, thus also called as the Malabar Tamarind or Kudam Puli in South India.

But apart from all its culinary uses, Garcinia Cambogia has earned utmost respect in the recent years in the medicinal field.It was found that the rind of the garcinia cambogia fruit contains a chemical compound known as hydroxycitric acid (HCA). HCA may have some benefits for conditions like rheumatism and digestive issues, but it’s best known for its weight loss benefits.

In this article let us take a look at the benefits of this miraculous medicine that mother nature has to offer us.

 

Benefits of Garcinia Cambogia

1. Helps in Weight Loss: 

One of the main benefits of Garcinia Cambogia is that it aids weight loss. It works on various levels to help our body shed those extra pounds. Various studies done by PubMed Central shows that HCA present in it reduces a person’s appetite. The active ingredient present in it, increases serotonin levels in our brains. Higher serotonin in our blood, reduces our body’s appetite, thereby aiding to weight loss.

Other than this, it also inhibits the production of fat in our body. Several studies were done on this, and it was found that Garcinia Cambogia reduces the production of an enzyme known as citrate lyase, which increases weight gain in our body.

2. Increases Energy: 

HCA present in Garcinia Cambogia helps to increase your body’s metabolism. Thus,if you are often feeling fatigued, then it can make you energized. Often, the food we eat is stored as fat in our body. Garcinia Cambogia, directly converts the carbohydrate into energy, thus giving you a feeling of long term energy in your body. A continuous intake of it, can make you feel less sluggish throughout the day.

3. Increases your Digestive Health: 

Eating spicy and processed for a long range of time often disrupts our digestive health. It can actually affect the lining of our stomach, leading to stomach ulcers and other gastric troubles. Garcinia Cambogia, helps in relieving our stomach with such disorders of the stomach. It manages the secretion of acid from your gastric glands of the stomach. It also improves your digestive health by healing the inner lining of your stomach.

4. Lowers Cholesterol Levels:

 An eight week study by Science DIrect done on moderately obese people shows the positive effects Garcinia Cambogia had on their cholestrol levels. The group’s total cholesterol levels were lowered by 6.3%, while their LDL or the bad cholesterol levels were 12.3% higher. Similarly, the group’s HDL or the good cholesterol levels were 10% higher. Around 125–258% of fat metabolites were excreted through the urine. This study clearly proves the effect of this medicine on our cholesterol levels.

5. Lowers Insulin levels and is Anti- Diabetic: 

Obesity and Diabetes are often interlinked with each other. By helping in weight loss, it also helps in reducing type-2 diabetes. Garcinia Cambogia is known to increase insulin sensitivity and improve blood sugar balance and control in our body, which is important to manage diabetes. Further, it also reduces inflammation in our body, which plays an important role in regulating insulin resistance. Garcinia Cambogia, doesn’t treat a disease just by one way. It treats the root cause of the disease, thereby finding a permanent solution for it.

 

Conclusion

Garcinia Cambogia, is one of the hidden gems found in nature. It has many benefits and is easily available in the Indian subcontinent. Its benefits can be yielded to its full extent if used in the right way.

 

Why am I not losing Weight?

Often we come across many videos around the internet which says that they can help us losing weight in 1 month, 15 days or even one week. Some even claim to reduce just our belly fat or thigh fat. But are these diets and exercises really possible? Can we reduce the fat in just one particular area only? And why is that even after following all these diet and exercise plans are we not losing weight? In this article, let us take a look into the concepts of weight reduction and the reasons why diets and exercise fail for us.

Spot Reduction- Myth or Reality

Spot reduction is a theory that states that we can lose fat in just one particular area of our body, just by working on that body part. But how many times have you seen a person, who just went skinny on his legs and has the same amount of fat in his other body parts. Never right? Because our body doesn’t lose fat in such a way. When we exercise, our body doesn’t think “ Oh let’s reduce this area’s fat more and this area’s less”. 

A study conducted on 40 overweight and obese women for 12 weeks found that resistance training of the abdominal area had no effect on belly fat loss.

This just shows that our body doesn’t work that way. It loses the overall body fat rather than of just one body part. Thus, if you follow the diets and exercises of spot reduction, chances are it is going to fail.

A similar 12-week study was conducted on 104 participants who were told to do a training program that exercised only their non-dominant arms.

Researchers found that although some fat loss did occur, it was generalized to the entire body, not the arm being exercised.

If there is no spot reduction, why is there a spot weight gain?

Why is it that we gain more weight in our belly region or thigh region? If there is no concept of spot reduction, why do we gain weight in just one particular region. There are multiple reasons for it. The first one is that, this is how our body works. Our body has a natural tendency to store fat in a few particular areas. These regions vary in men and women. Women tend to gain fat more on their thigh regions or hips or breasts. However men gain weight in their abdomen region and on the back of their body. 

One other reason for this is genetics. We know that we inherit our facial features from our parents. Similarly, we also inherit the quality of weight gain from our parents as well. If your parent’s body has the tendency to store fat in a particular section of their body, chances are you may get it from there.

Why Diets Fail?

The internet has popularized many weight loss diets like keto diet, egg diet, papaya diet and many such more. You  have all these diets just at the tip of your hands. Just google instant weight loss diets, and you have millions of them. But the real question is, for how many days can you actually follow these diets? You cannot just eat eggs your whole life, or be on keto forever right. This is where your diet fails. It gives you just the instant remedy, not the long term one. Even if you see instant results, it may not last long. Because soon, you are going to go back to your old diet pattern.

The regained weight is much harder to lose. This is because, when you are losing weight, you are losing muscle as well as fat. However, when you gain weight, you just gain fat. There is no muscle in there. Losing this unhealthy fat is much harder than what you lost the first time.

Calorie In, Calorie Out- Myth or Reality?

Most diets that we find online are planned according to calorie in-calorie out theory. Calorie in- Calorie out theory says that if you burn more calories compared to what you intake, then you will be losing weight. Most people consider this the ultimate formula to lose weight. They continue taking low calorie and low carb diets. While doing so, they forget an important factor besides this.

Checking just the calories is not the endgame. Many products are now available in the market that claim to have zero calories. But they are not all healthy. They contain other components in it, which contribute towards our body fat. Often we neglect it..

Our body processes each food item differently. Similarly, each food item has different and varying effects on our hormones. Even though fats, proteins, carbs all are calories, but each of them work differently in our body. We cannot compare 10 calorie worth of fat to 10 calorie worth of carbohydrate. 

This is the reason why some people tend to lose more weight even after taking in higher calories. While others even though take less calories still struggle to lose weight.

What is the Solution then?

If not diet, if not exercise then what? The simple answer is to not run for instant solutions. You need to find a long term plan. Something, which can stick with you for your entire life. Something which is healthy and is practical to follow daily. 

Increase your exercise regime slowly, day by day. You cannot expect yourself to lift 20kg on day one. You have to build your stamina slowly and effectively. You need to have patience for it.

Do not lose hope in between. Do not compare yourself with others who are getting instant weight loss. Chances are they are going back after a few months. Follow your solid plan and get your permanent result.

Stop making plans for 15 days, make plans that’ll last you for more than 50 years.

Conclusion

Following instant diet plans and exercise regimes, may seem as the perfect solution for weight loss. But the lost weight may soon come back and shatter all your confidence. It is better to get yourself a long term weight loss plan that you can stick to. Rather than losing 10 kgs for 1 month, it’s better to lose 5, forever.

 

Healthy Diet to Boost your Immune System

A healthy immune system is essential for the growth and survival of the human body. It is our immunity that keeps us safe from the attacks of all the external viruses, allergies, bacteria, parasites etc. Our immune system comprises of a vast network of cells, tissues, proteins, and organs which are spread throughout our body structure and helps in recognising and eliminating the foreign tissues from enemy attacks.

As per the Harvard Medical School Ph.D. Expert, Michael N. Starnbach, a strong immune system is all what we need to defeat the invading pathogens, just like two bacterial cells causing gonorrhoea is of no match to a neutrophil that could engulf and kill them all.

However, given the severity of condition in today’s world where coronavirus (COVID-19) has caused a devastating health condition across the globe. It is very important for all of us to take necessary steps in order to stay healthy, strong and fit. Researchers have found that a healthy balanced and nutritional diet plays a vital role to improve our body’s natural immune defenses.

Immune Boosting Diet

A low-fat balanced diet is all that you need for an overall development and growth of your immune system. Research has shown that a plant based diet which is full of fiber, protein and vitamins can help you in lowering your BMI levels that helps in maintaining the body weight. Not only this, nutrients and minerals such as vitamin C, D and E, zinc, protein, beta carotene etc. act as immunity boosters that lowers the stress hormones and are also rich in antioxidants.

  • Vitamin C & E: These antioxidants play a crucial role in destroying free radicals and improves the natural immune response of the body.
  • Sources- Oranges, lemon, amla, broccoli, red pepper, nuts, spinach, mangoes, seeds etc.
  • Vitamin D: A study has shown that Vitamin D food items allows the prevention of viral flu and respiratory tract infections. Moreover, a rise of vitamin D in the blood helps in reducing the risk of hepatitis, cholera, tuberculosis and other cardiovascular diseases.
  • Sources- Cereals, green leafy vegetables, sunlight, plant based milk supplements etc.
  • Zinc: It is a natural mineral that protects the body from invaders and allows the production of white blood cells.
  • Sources- Sesame seeds, lentils, nuts, beans, pumpkin seeds etc.
  • Beta-Carotene: It is a strong antioxidant which not only increases the disease fighting cells in our body but also reduces inflammation in our body.
  • Sources- Carrots, green leafy fruits, vegetables and sweet potatoes.

Benefits of Immune-based diet

  • Vegetarian Indians have more number of white blood cells which helps in effective production of antibodies in order to combat flu, viruses, and bacterial infection as compared to Non-Vegetarian Indians.
  • Plant based diet work wonders on our body as it not only reduces the inflammatory biomarkers but also enhances our immune system.
  • A healthy nutritious meal lowers down the risks of influenza and pneumonia. Also, with a regular physical exercise plan, you can easily loss your weight as well.
  • Low Fat food is quite helpful in impairing the white blood cell functioning and balances the gut microbiota for healthy immunity.

10 Food items that Improves Immune System

Here is a list of food items that can help you to keep your body and immune system strong, healthy and fit.

1. Spinach: Spinach is a rich source of antioxidants, vitamin A, C and beta carotene. It enhances the ability of infection fighting tissues and retains the nutritious content in our body. Just like broccoli, spinach is one of the healthiest food that makes our bones, nails and teeth stronger. Moreover, it enables easy release of minerals from the oxalic acid.

spinach lettuce for immune system

2. Citrus Fruits: Most of the citrus fruits have high content of vitamin C which increases the resistance for common cold and infections. Not only this, it lowers the risk of scurvy and offers faster healing of wounds and fractured bones. Citrus fruits have innate ability to reduce weight loss, fatigue and joint pain. Also, you can simply squeeze a bit of lemon over your salad in a day to enjoy its richness in your body. Some of the popular citrus fruits involves guava, tomato, orange, lemon, amla, limes, grapefruit, strawberries, tangerines and many more.

citrus fruits for immune system
Citrus Fruits

3. Yogurt: Curd especially Greek yogurt stimulates our immune system in order to fight a plethora of communicable diseases. These yogurts offer active and refreshing appetite as they are a good source of vitamin D. Vitamin D assists in the healthy absorption of dietary calcium which helps in bone making and maintenance. Always make sure that you choose the plain yogurt instead of the flavoured or sugar loaded ones. Add some honey and healthy fruits for taste if you like.yogurt for immune system

4. Green Tea: Green Tea is regarded as one of the best detoxification drink as it is packed with a variety of antioxidants such as flavonoids and EGCG, namely epigallocatechin gallate. Green Tea is usually steamed in order to retain the value of EGCG that has shown excellent improvement in the immune system. Moreover, it is a good source of L-theanine which enhances the production of germ-fighting cells.green tea for immune system

5. Almonds: Vitamin E present in nuts and seeds such as almonds, exerts an important antioxidant effect on our immune system. Also, it prevents anaemia and heart diseases by protecting LDL from oxidation which encourages the development of atherosclerosis. This fat soluble vitamin protects other substances from oxidation by being oxidized itself. Half cup of shelled almonds is exactly the daily recommended amount for consumption by a normal adult.almonds for immune system

6. Ginger: According to a recent research, ginger is an excellent ingredient that can lower down chronic pain and cholesterol properties. Apart from this, it can decrease sore throat, nausea and various other inflammatory illnesses. Moreover, ginger involves some sort of heat in the form of gingerol which is a relative of capsaicin. It can also be used in a number of sweet desserts and dishes for flavour.ginger for immune system

7. Papaya: Papaya is a brilliant source of Vitamin C, B, folate and potassium. It has rich anti-inflammatory properties that not only strengthens our immune system but also helps in faster digestion. It includes an enzyme known as papain which helps in enhancing the gut and bowel movement. A single papaya has around 224 % of vitamin C which is the daily recommended amount.papaya for immune system

8. Garlic: As per National Center of Complementary & Integrative Health, garlic is known as an amazing ingredient to slow down the hardening of veins and arteries. Not only this, it decreases the risk of blood pressure and gastrointestinal diseases. Adding a little bit zest of garlic is a must especially in Indian cuisine dishes. Also, garlic gets its rich immune boosting effects from allicin, high sulphur compound.garlic for immune system

9. Apple: ‘An apple a day, keeps a doctor away’ is a well-known proverb that signifies the true importance of apple for strengthening our immune system. Not only this, a study by the University of Illinois has proven that soluble fiber which is found in apple, oats, seeds and nuts reduces the inflammations related to obesity diseases. Moreover, apple, carrot, orange etc. are a healthy combination to safeguard your body from bacterial infections.apple for immune

10. Broccoli: All the cruciferous vegetables especially broccoli is an excellent source of antioxidant minerals and vitamins. Also, it comprises of choline which not only supports healthy gastrointestinal barrier but also strengthens the body cells and tissues. It contains glutathione which helps in fighting off the flu and colds. You can either prepare a vegetable or even add it to your salad and soups for better flavour.broccoli for immune

Common ways to prevent Virus

  • Variety is the essential of a proper wholesome nutrition. It is very important for all of us to consume a plethora of vitamin and mineral rich food items and not just stick to a single one.
  • Apart from this, you can also try Jeeragest, Immunocin and Chyawanprash available online which not only boosts your immune functioning but also fights digestion and acidity problems.
  • Dalai Lama, a well-known Buddhist monk, has said that sleep is the best medication for the human body. Moreover, a recent study has shown that those who sleep less than 6 hours per night have high chances of suffering from common cold, flu and infection as compared to those who sleep for 8 hours.
  • Apart from this, maintain proper neatness and cleanliness and try to wash your hands frequently.
  • Proper physical exercises can lower down the stress hormone, cortisol, and can recharge the white blood cells.
  • Do not forget to drink loads and loads of water in order to neutralise your body functioning.

Some Final Words

Thus, the above-mentioned food ingredients will not only safeguard your body from harmful diseases but will also help in the overall growth and development of the body muscles, tissues, organs and bones.

5 Simple Self Care Habits and Home Remedies for PCOS.

PCOS and Home Remedies

Women with PCOS have a roller-coaster experience dealing with it. Every woman has their own story and their own battle. Women can experience PCOS symptoms as early as in their pre-teen years to as late as in their 50’s. Many put themselves on medications while some follow certain home remedies. The first step one should take if they are suspicious about PCOS, is to consult a doctor. You need to be sure about it before you deal with it. Making assumptions about PCOS, can only make it worse.

 

However there can be certain home remedies that one can apply in their daily lives that can make PCOS a little more easier to handle:

Simple Home Remedies and Self-Care Habits

 

1. Replace Carbs with Fiber and Junks with Protein:

close-up photo of vegetable salad

 PCOS cannot be handled if your diet is messed up. You should take special care of your diet requirements. Replace all your carbs such as white bread, white rice or potato with fiber foods, which is easily digestible. Include loads of protein into your food. Protein and fiber makes you feel full easily, which can help you to lose weight easily. Fish, almonds, fruits and vegetables are the best source for protein and fiber. 

The best home remedy starts with the kitchen. So, go to your kitchen, throw away the junk, and replace it with healthy options. 

 

2. Home Workouts

woman doing yoga meditation on brown parquet flooring

If you are one of those people who pay for gym, and never go there. Then stop doing that. Make your home as your own little workout space. Begin with easy exercises and move on to the intense ones. Get up early and go for a run. Do water exercises in your building’s pool. PCOS does not demand heavy workouts and daily gymming. It is enough if you give your body a daily exercise of even 30 minutes per day. This can be easily done within the four walls of your house.

And if you are not a big exercise person, choose other alternatives such as Yoga. It not only helps you with PCOS, but also calms your mind. There are many aasanas that can help you with managing PCOS.

 

3. Take Care of your Mental Health

mental health text

PCOS not only affects your body, it has a negative effect on your mind too. It is therefore necessary to put your mental health in consideration too. Pick up a self-motivating book to begin with. Talk with other people about your problems. Share your feelings. You would be amazed to see the difference in your stress and depression just by telling someone how you feel. And if these home remedies aren’t working for you, try seeking professional help. 

Remember it is you who matters. There is nothing wrong in going to a therapist or talking about your mental health.  

 

4. Get enough sleep:

grayscale photo of sleeping woman lying on bed

 No method would work until and unless your body is properly rested. Getting a sound sleep is the easiest home remedy that you can do to rejuvenate your body. If you find it difficult to sleep, methods such as meditation, listening to calming sounds while sleeping can help. Just as they say a good laugh and a long sleep are the two cures for anything. It is true even for PCOS. A well rested body can function better and it would be easier for you to handle the stress of PCOS.

5. Follow a Routine

black steel alarm clock on top of brown table

Most of the time, one becomes clumsy and lazy, if they don’t have a routine to follow. Try setting up a time table for yourself. Get up at a fixed time, have regular breakfast and exercise daily. Having a regular schedule helps to manage all the activities properly. Include all the necessary things that you are doing for PCOS in it. This way you’d do things daily and thus can get results as early as possible. Often people make big plans for making changes in their life, but forget about it after doing it for a day or two. Having a routine keeps a check on all your home remedies and activities.

 

Kapha Dosha: Properties and 3 Ways to Balance it.

Kapha Dosha is the third dosha of the Tridosha theory. Imagine late winter, with cold dry days and snow falls. This season is called Kapha season. Also, the health and fitness of our body is maintained by Kapha Dosha.  

 

KAPHA DOSHA CONSTITUENTS

Kapha Dosha represents ether and water element in our body. The earth and water element is responsible for the rigidity, firmness and most importantly for the regeneration process in our body. The nature of these elements are steadiness, stability and stillness. No amount of wind or fire can move these elements easily. This same concept is applied to the Kapha Dosha.

 

When water and earth mix together, then it makes mud. This is a great way to explain Kapha as it explains its ability to hold things together and make them stick. Earth is dense, heavy, stable and slow, while water provides the soft, cold and smooth qualities.

 

Like other doshas, Kapha is also located in a few of the regions in our body. They are thoracic cavity, head region, stomach, nasal cavity, throat region, interphalangeal joints and oral cavity.

 

Properties of Kapha Dosha:

  1. Heavy
  2. Cold
  3. Slow
  4. Steady
  5. Greasy
  6. Mucoid/Slimy
  7. Soft
  8. Dense/Compact

 

Work of Kapha Dosha in our body:

  1. Control of the movements of all the joints as well as joining them firmly in our body.
  2. Since Kapha Dosha is greasy, it doesn’t allow friction during the movement of joints.
  3. Reason for the Regeneration process.
  4. It fills the intercellular space of the body. Thus giving firmness or bodytone to our body.
  5. Increases the immunity.
  6. It forms human emotions such as Forgiveness, Selfness and Strong Willpower.

 

Symptoms of imbalance of Kapha Dosha

 

  1. Asthma and allergies
  2. Frequent colds, Cough and Congestion, Nasal mucus, Running nose, and Sinus.
  3. Depression, Laziness, loss of strength
  4. Materialism, possession and jealousy,
  5. Weight gain and Obesity
  6. Procrastination.
  7.  Fluid retention, excess urination, or mucoid diarrhea.
  8. Diabetes, high cholesterol, profuse edema, solid edema, congestive heart failure and leukemia.

 

How to manage Kapha Imbalance

 

Through Kapha Diet

 

  1. Avoid sweet, sour and cold food such as ice-cream, and cold desserts.
  2. Avoid oily, processed and heavy food such as cheese, meat, cake etc.
  3. Eat light and easy to digest foods such as honey. 
  4. Spices such as chili, black pepper, ginger, cinnamon and cumin balances Kapha Dosha
  5. Most beans and pulses are good for the Kapha diet.
  6. All vegetables are good except sweet vegetables like tomatoes and sweet potatoes. 
  7. Avoid overeating and eat in a peaceful environment.

 

Make Changes in your Lifestyle

 

  1. Kapha Dosha people usually tend towards laziness. Thus to break the cycle, it is necessary to follow a regular routine and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
  2. Clean the clutter around you. Keeping your surroundings can help you to feel more energetic.
  3.  Include exercise in your Lifestyle. It can be as simple as a jog or can be heavy work-outs. Doing so will keep the kapha balanced.
  4. Change things around you a bit: Learn a new hobby, make changes in your room or any other small changes. Kapha imbalance usually makes one feel stuck in a cycle. Making small changes can help in it.

 

Other Methods

 

  1. Perform a daily dry massage on your body to stimulate blood circulation.
  2. Wear Kapha balancing colors such as yellow and orange which are warm and helps in soothing it.
  3. Avoid taking naps in the day to not feel more lethargic and tired.

 

 

Pitta Dosha: Properties and 3 ways to balance it.

Pitta is the second Dosha of the Tridosha theory. Imagine a hot, sweaty, and burning summer day. This is said to be a Pitta prominent day. Through understanding its constituents, we can understand more about Pitta.

PITTA DOSHA CONSTITUENTS

Pitta Dosha’s intensity is sparked by the fire element and their action by the water element. When fire and water combine, it produces steam and this is part of the penetrating feature of pitta. Due to its heat summer season is also called the Pitta season.

 

Every living creature continuously transforms from one form to another at a certain pace. This continuous transformation which is emblematic of development is because of the fire element. For example, in order for a fruit to ripe, it needs heat and warmth. Similarly, for an egg to hatch, it needs to be kept at higher temperatures. This means that fire element is responsible for the changes and transformation happening in the universe. All  these are constituents of Pitta Dosha.

 

The physical and emotional transformations such as digestion process, aging, anger, fear, etc is due to Pitta Dosha. 

 

Like other doshas, pitta is also located in a few of the regions in our body. They are Duodenum, Lymphatic system, skin, stomach, sweat and blood.

 

Properties of Pitta Dosha:

 

  1. Corrosive.
  2. Penetrating
  3. Oily
  4. Hot
  5. Liquid
  6. Pungent Smelly.

 

Work of Pitta Dosha in our body:

  1. Regulates the digestion process.
  2. Maintains the body temperature.
  3. Regulates Eyesight.
  4. Is responsible for hunger, taste, and thirst in our body.
  5. Maintains color, shine and softness of our skin.
  6. Helps in strong grasping power.
  7. Is responsible for emotions such as courage.

 

Symptoms of imbalance of Pitta Dosha

 

  • Feeling of intense hunger, or thirst. Often feels unsatisfied.
  • Nausea, vomiting, hiccups, acid reflux, heartburn, loose stools, diarrhea, low blood sugar, and resentment to spicy or fried foods.
  •  Feeling Impatient or Frustrated. Overly goal/result oriented, Resentment, Jealousy, Judgemental
  • Bad breath or Body odour.
  • Dizziness and/or Insomnia. 
  • Tenderness of breasts, nipples or testicles. Heavy bleeding during menstruation.
  • Weakening of eyesight and other vision problems.
  •  Skin conditions such as rash, acne, eczema, psoriasis, or dermatitis

 

How to manage Pitta Imbalance

 

 Through the Pitta Diet.

  • Include sweet, bitter and astringent foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, rice, barley, oats, milk, butter and ghee. Foods rich in the bitter tastes include green, leafy vegetables, such as spinach and bitter gourd.
  • Avoid hot and spicy foods which include condiments such as chillies and mustard.
  • Minimize sour and salty foods such as yogurt, or salted chips.
  • Minimize drinks such as alcohol or sugar based sodas. Replace it with cool, refreshing drinks such as herbal or mint teas.
  • Prefer sweet fruits over sour ones such as oranges or grapefruits.
  • Raw vegetables can also lower Pitta Dosha.
  • Include cooling herbs such as coriander, mint and fennels.

 

Through Yoga

  • Many Yoga Asanas help in cooling the Pitta Dosha, and lower the heat in our body.
  • Some of the Yoga Postures that will help with Pitta Dosha are:
  1. Child’s posture (Shishu asana)
  2. Chair posture (Utkatasana)
  3. Cobra posture (Bhujangasana)
  4. Superman posture (Vipareeta Shalabhasana)
  5. Bridge posture (Setubandhasana)
  6. Corpse posture (Shavasana)

 

  • Other than this meditation also helps in cooling down our mind due to Pitta imbalance. FInd solace and coolness in meditation in times of anger and fear.

 

Protect yourself from the heat.

  • During the summer season, avoid direct exposure from the midday sun.
  • Absorb the moonlight, by going on a walk in the evenings.
  • Wear protection while facing the sun.
  • Go to bed before 10 p.m.
  • Do your exercise or sports activities either in morning or evening. Do not indulge in them during the noon time.

 

Vata Dosha: Properties and 4 Ways to Balance it.

 

 

The Vata Dosha is called ‘The King of the Doshas’, as it is the main dosha of the tridosha theory. If you imagine a cool, dry, windy fall day, then it can be said as a Vata prominent day. It has effects on various functions and features of our body too, and can be more understood through it constituents.

 

 VATA DOSHA CONSTITUENTS

 

The element Air and Ether (or Space) of the universe is represented by Vata dosha. The pitta and kapha dosha cannot function without it as they are not self propelled. It means that to complete  their work in our body, they cannot move from one place to another. They need a carrier to do that, and Vata acts as that carrier. Vata travels all around our body. Hence vata dosha has speed as its emblem. All the movements of our body are thus inspired by vata. 

 

The tridosha theory of ayurveda says that the three doshas are equally distributed in the body. Although vata continuously moves around our body, it resides in a few positions. They are Intestines, lower back, bones, Thigh region, Skin, ear and our complete lower body.

 

 They combine and run all the work in our body. These three doshas have their own properties.

 

Properties of Vata dosha:

 

  • Dry
  • Light
  • Cold
  • Rough
  • Subtle
  • mobile(moving)
  • Quick

 

Work of vata in our body:

 

  • The controlling of All the natural works of the body
  • The development of foetus during pregnancy. The development depends on the balance and imbalance of this dosha. The imbalance can lead to various genetic disorders.
  • Speech, heart sounds, respirational sounds, peristaltic sounds.
  • Hearing, respiration.
  • The control on the digestive system.
  • Maintains the fluid in the body.
  • Removes the waste material and toxins in our body, in the form of urine and feces.
  • Keep a check on the nervous system.
  • Delivers nutrients to all the muscles of our body.
  • Walking, running and all kinds of dynamic movements in our body. 

 

Symptoms of imbalance of Vata Dosha

 

  • Dry skin, hair, ears, lips, joints, cracked heels and hands
  • Bloating, gas, constipation or dry hard stools
  • Dehydration and weight loss
  • Imbalance of mind – restlessness, dizziness, delusion, anxiety, nervousness, panic, fear agitation or feeling of emptiness
  • Body fluid troubles like poor circulation, muscle spasm or constriction, asthma, pain and aches, tightness
  • Excessive movement such as Irrelevant or too much talking, fidgeting, tremors or muscle twitching.
  • Light interrupted sleep or sleeplessness, increase in thoughts and worries, lack of strength, Ptosis.

 

How to manage Vata Dosha Imbalance

Through Vata Diet.

 

  • Avoid Dry and light ,cold, raw and processed foods
  • Avoid Caffeine, nicotine, Hard alcohol and other stimulants.
  • Increase sweet, sour, salty, warm, cooked whole foods.
  • Include vegetables and fruits such as pumpkin, sweet potato, beets, carrots, brussel sprouts, avocados, dates, figs, lemons and papayas.
  • Avoid overeating or eating very heavy meals. 
  • Spices such as black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, cumin, fennel, ginger, turmeric and saffron help in balancing vata.
  • Adding ghee in your diet can also help

 

Maintain a daily routine.

 

  • Get proper sleep. Lack of sleep is one of the major reasons for Vata imbalance. So, schedule your sleep at the right time, usually between 10p.m to 5 a.m.
  • Routine times for your meals, and eat in a peaceful environment.
  • Keep a time-table for everything. A proper routine helps in soothing the imbalanced Vata.
  • Add meditation to your routine. Doing meditation as the first thing in the morning is the most beneficial way in calming Vata.

 

 

Exercise Properly

 

  • Excessive exercise can trouble vata. Prefer simple and easy exercises.
  • Don’t exercise for long hours. Listen to your body. Do not push it limits.
  • Yoga is the best option. It is calm and gentle and helps your mind to concentrate.

 

Hydrate your Body

 

  • As vata is extremely drying, it is important to hydrate our body as many times as possible. 
  • Drink warm water. Wam water calms down the excess Vata as compared to cold water.
  •  Oils such as sesame, almond or avocado oil are beneficial in pacifying vata.
  • Massaging your body with vata-calming oils(sesame or almond) for around 20 minutes a day can also help.